Sun | Sep 25, 2016

US Embassy moves to paperless visa system in March

Published:Wednesday | February 24, 2010 | 12:00 AM

In exactly one month from today, the United States Embassy in Kingston will begin accepting only online visa applications, doing away with the paper-based forms now familiar to applicants.

"On March 24, use of the new form becomes mandatory and the US Embassy will no longer accept printed DS-156 non-immigrant visa applications," the embassy stated in a release yesterday. "Form DS-160, the new electronic form, will be available on the embassy's website (
www.kingston.usembassy.gov
) beginning Thursday, March 4, 2010, for optional use by applicants."

The embassy said applicants were being encouraged to begin using the new DS-160 form as soon as it becomes available.

The new DS-160 form, which will replace the current paper-based DS-156 non-immigrant visa application, must be completed and sent online and the information on the application will be electronically transmitted to the US embassy. The new system is expected to improve efficiency, accuracy and security for all visa applicants.

"Beginning March 24, 2010, non-immigrant visa applicants need only present at their interviews a printed DS-160 confirmation sheet issued at the time of the electronic filing, their passport and a visa application fee-paid receipt from any National Commercial Bank Jamaica branch," the embassy said.

"The transition to the DS-160 online form will not change any other portion of the current non-immigrant visa application process. Specifically, the processes for making an appointment and paying the visa application fee will not change and all applicants will still be interviewed by a consular officer to determine their qualifications."

Prospective non-immigrant visa applicants should visit the embassy's website, www.kingston.usembassy.gov, for instructions on the complete visa application process.